Childcare and Youth Services
Access to childcare is vital for healthy, resilient, and sustainable communities, a fact highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic when our families were stretched to the limit.
When we prioritize affordable, accessible childcare, we strengthen - and enable - economic recovery. Two million women in the United States have left the labor force in the last year because when schools are shut, mothers carry the weight on their shoulders. Families have lost income, and our children suffer. Expansion of childcare resources and access enables our families to participate fully in the wider community, which ultimately enhances the quality of our social and economic environment in the Bronx. Consequently, many families suffer from increased stress and loss of income. Closing the gaps in our childcare system will lift up communities that need the most support.
Make affordable childcare accessible for everyone 0-3 and beyond
Invest in Childcare Providers by subsidizing child care businesses. As Elizbeth Warren said, “Childcare IS Infrastructure.” Childcare providers are front line workers. Many childcare businesses are at risk of closing due to COVID, and we have yet to adequately support them. In order for parents to return to the workforce and achieve an economic recovery, we must support childcare businesses, many of which are run by women and women of color small business owners. Funding childcare businesses will ensure an equitable and sustainable recovery.
Support NYC Under Three. Nearly half of NYC residents live in “childcare deserts” where the number of children exceeds the capacity of childcare. NYC Under Three provides an expansion of free pre-kindergarten care to not only 3 and 4-year-olds but for infants and toddlers under 3. The continuation and expansion of this program is essential in building up communities to economic prosperity.
Prioritize youth development through employment and arts education.
Fund New York City’s Summer Youth Employment Initiative. This year New York City’s Summer Youth Employment Initiative was cut from 75,000 slots in last year’s SYEP to 35,000. We need to prioritize and fund these initiatives and make them a priority when it comes to ensuring the prosperity of NYC in the future. SYEPs have been shown to improve safety, improve future employment prospects, and improve school attendance and performance.
Invest in Arts Education by expanding the funding for arts education in the Department of Education Budget. Arts education has been proven to help close the achievement gap, increase test scores and the likelihood of graduating high school and college and encourage civic engagement. This year NYC cut $15 million dollars from arts education services. We need to reprioritize and acknowledge the value of arts education, making sure it has adequate funding, making arts accessible to all of NYC’s children.